Seriously and FOR. REAL. I’ve joked with many friends, co-workers and customer support folks at my internet service provider about this and usually get an agreeable laugh. We’re so dependent upon internet connectivity and email these days that when it’s down for maintenance or some other sort of broke state it hurts!! Might as well shut off the electricity and running water while we’re at it!

I got a strong dose of this very recently as I was getting ready to start my new job. I was expecting additional information via email on when and where to show up on my first day. A couple days later I noticed I had not received my usual volume of emails but didn’t think much of it. Then a friend of mine contacted me (via Facebook) that she’d sent me an email only to have it bounce back that my email address was no longer valid. Yikes! And on top of that, I discovered I now couldn’t send new emails or reply to existing ones – they were stuck in my Outbox.

After a call with my internet provider I learned my account had been moved to a “temporarily suspended state.” THIS is the ‘thanks’ I get for paying my bill on time each month? Hmmm.

Everything got resolved in less than 24 hours, but it was a jangling wake up call on how much we depend on connectivity. I’d accepted a new job offer and was worried my new employer would wonder why the email address I’d JUST provided to them wouldn’t appear valid…would I look like a flake?
And what about other bills or banking statements that are now delivered via email in an effort to be Green and save on paper usage and postage? What happens if those bounceback as undeliverable? Is it standard practice to re-send them or notify the customer via snail mail or a phone call that they can’t connect? I wonder, as I’m sure it varies.